Four Teas That Can Transform Your Life in 2018



Tea is much more than a refreshing beverage. Drinking tea daily has the potential to transform your health. Teas of all kinds are naturally hydrating, and they contain free radicals that can help fight and prevent many varieties of cancer as well as chronic illness.

Teas in their purest form are sourced from the Camellia sinensis plant. These pure teas include black tea, white tea, pu-erh tea, green tea, and oolong tea. While experts may argue that herbal teas do not constitute as “true” teas, I would like to argue that herbal teas also have incredible health benefits. In fact, introducing herbal teas and other tea “concoctions” to my regular routine for the past several years has been a huge game-changer for my mental and physical health as a sufferer of daily chronic body pain due to Lyme disease and Endometriosis.

Here are the four tea beverages I swear by:

1. Kombucha

What the heck is “kombucha”?

This nutrient-rich fizzy fermented tea beverage is traditionally made of black tea and sugar. It contains beneficial enzymes, minerals and vitamins and can be made in a variety of different flavors with the addition of different herbs, fruits or spices. You may find yourself off-put by the taste at first. But, once you drink this naturally sparkling beverage more frequently, you will most-likely find it surprisingly tantalizing.

What is so special about this fermented tea drink?

Kombucha is fat-free and contains fewer calories than other carbonated beverages. It provides quick and easy energy without tons of caffeine. This makes it a great alternative to coffee during the day. Some people with gastrointestinal problems experience intestinal disruption after drinking coffee or energy drinks, but kombucha can actually aid in digestion and improve healthy gut flora. Kombucha is naturally detoxifying to the liver and pancreas and may aid in weight loss as well as decrease the growth of Candida (yeast). One cup of kombucha contains about 20% of the daily value of B-Vitamins–which most of us are lacking, as well as beneficial probiotics and acids.

Kombucha may also increase immune support. It is a natural source of glucosamine, which help alleviate joint pain and support healthy joints.

Cautions to Consider:

  • While some may claim kombucha cures illnesses, there are no studies that prove this claim regardless of its wide array of health benefits.
  • Kombucha contains sugar and naturally-occurring alcohol. If you have serious health problems or are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult your physician before drinking kombucha.
  • While kombucha has many health benefits, it may be as harmful as juice or soda to tooth enamel. Ora Wellness explains here how we can drink kombucha without destroying our teeth.
  • Caffeine is present in kombucha. If caffeine is a health concern for you, Wellness Mama explains how you can reduce caffeine content as well as how you can make kombucha here.
  • Remember: everything in moderation. Just because kombucha is healthy, does not mean that it is beneficial to ingest all day, every day.

How often to drink kombucha?

Start by drinking one cup of kombucha every few days. If you wish to drink it more frequently and do not experience any strange side effects (such as intestinal discomfort), increase up to once a day. If you do experience any unpleasant side effects after drinking, limit your drinking consumption or take a break for a little while before reintroducing.

 

2. Matcha Tea

What is “matcha”?

Matcha tea is a green tea antioxidant powerhouse that originates from Japan. It is made up of finely ground leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Matcha tea has a great deal more antioxidant power than regularly-brewed green tea. This “miracle supplement” is the highest quality powdered green tea that is now considered to be one of the most powerful super foods of the modern age.

Why is matcha so amazing?

The antioxidants in matcha tea can prevent chronic diseases, certain cancers, and signs of aging while burning calories and boosting the metabolism. Just one cup of matcha is rich in vitamins A & C as well as iron, potassium and sufficient amounts of fiber and chlorophyll. It aids in concentration and mood-enhancement because it contains L-theanine, healthy amino acids and caffeine. Japanese zen Buddhists and Chinese Daoists have used matcha tea as a way to remain alert while at the same time enhancing calm during meditation.

How to Prepare:

Matcha tea can be an acquired taste. I prefer to drink it in a warm frothy latte form, but either way you prepare it will have beneficial health effects. To prepare with water, you can follow this simple recipe. If your preference is a frothy matcha latte, you can follow this quick and easy recipe by Living Well Mom.



 

3. Raspberry Leaf Tea

This tea has been a daily necessity to me! I first read about its benefits on a health blog years ago and decided to try it out when I was experiencing mood swings and painful symptoms from Endometriosis. My doctor had offered to prescribe me heavier pain medications and even a light antidepressant to use certain times of the month when my Endometriosis symptoms became almost unbearable, but I preferred to try a more natural approach. I also partially credit a healthy pregnancy and natural medication-free labor last year to this tea, as well as an easier postpartum emotional recovery.

Not to be confused with sweet fruity raspberry-flavored tea, raspberry leaf tea has a mildly fruity black tea flavor. It is refreshing any time of year, unsweetened or lightly sweetened with raw honey (I drink it prepared either way, depending on the day).

Why Drink Raspberry Leaf Tea?

Red raspberry leaf tea contains antioxidants, vitamins and a collection of nutrients essential for daily health. It has been known to balance a woman’s cycle, treat nausea during pregnancy, and prepare a woman’s body for labor and delivery during pregnancy. Raspberry leaf tea has also been used for centuries to naturally treat gingivitis, anemia, canker sores, diarrhea and leg cramps in men, women and children of all ages. Other benefits include a boosting of the immune system, soothing inflammation of the skin or body, regulating hormones and stimulating fertility in men and women alike.

Men can benefit from this tea by experiencing a boost in testosterone levels and support of prostate health, as this tea will detoxify the body of artificial estrogens absorbed via plastics, commercial foods and the environment.

How to Prepare Raspberry Leaf Tea:

Raspberry leaf tea is easy to prepare, and it is refreshing any time of year. To reap the benefits of red raspberry leaf tea, you can serve this hot or cold, unsweetened or lightly sweetened with raw honey (I drink it prepared either way, depending on the day), stevia or your sweetener of choice.

Below is a simple raspberry leaf tea recipe from Mama Natural. You can also find her recipes for a red raspberry leaf “pregnancy tea blend” and “labor day tea” blend here.

Basic Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Recipe:

  1. Simply use a red raspberry leaf tea bag or a ratio of 1 Tbsp. of loose leaf red raspberry leaf tea and 1 cup of boiling water.
  2. Pour boiling water over tea bag or leaves and steep for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Strain the tea, add sweetener (if desired), and drink.

 

4. Chamomile Tea

Speaking from an insomniac’s first-hand experience, this tea makes a world of difference in my nightly sleep routine. I am a night owl by nature. Without the help of a sleep aid, I can easily stay up well past midnight, ESPECIALLY if I am feeling high levels of anxiety. My struggle to fall asleep at a decent hour presented itself as a huge struggle for me in high school and college. I mean, I truly resembled a walking zombie attending some of my early morning classes. I tried it all–prescribed sleeping pills, reading, prayer and meditation, journaling, yoga before bed…the only solution to my problem after all these years has been–yes, chamomile tea. Like clockwork, about 20-30 minutes after drinking chamomile tea, I will immediately start to feel relaxed enough to fall asleep. This chamomile tea with lavender is also a favorite of mine (sooo relaxing).

Benefits of Chamomile Tea:

Derived from the Asteraceae plant family, chamomile is an herb that has been used for centuries for good health: to calm an upset stomach or promote healthy sleep. Chamomile tea contains many potent antioxidants, sesquiterpenes, and flavonoids that positively effect the human body. In liquid form, chamomile can also be applied topically to help clear up skin issues and irritations.

Aside from treating insomnia and promoting healthy sleep, chamomile tea can help treat colds, strengthen the immune system, soothe a stomach ache, and reduce muscle spasms, as well as period pain in women.

 

Do you have a favorite tea or healthy beverage you can’t live without? I’d love to hear about it!



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